Post-nesting movement of wild and head-started Kemp's ridley sea turtles Lepidochelys kempii in the Gulf of Mexico

  • Published source details Shaver D.J. & Rubio C. (2008) Post-nesting movement of wild and head-started Kemp's ridley sea turtles Lepidochelys kempii in the Gulf of Mexico. Endangered Species Research, 4, 43-55.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Head-start wild-caught reptiles for release: Sea turtles

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Head-start wild-caught reptiles for release: Sea turtles

    A controlled study in 1997–2006 in nearshore waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Mexico and USA (Shaver  & Rubio 2008) found that some released head-started female Kemp’s ridley turtles Lepidochelys kempii survived at least 11 years, nested in the wild and showed similar movement patterns to wild turtles. Eleven female head-started Kemp’s ridley turtles were found to have survived 11–19 years in the wild and bred. The authors reported that post-nesting movements and habitat use of the head-started turtles and wild female turtles were similar (data and details of statistical analysis not provided, see original paper for details). Twenty-eight female Kemp’s ridley turtles were radio tagged after nesting between 1997 and 2006. Three–six turtles were monitored each year for 9–841 days (5–563 location points/individual). Eleven turtles were released, head-started individuals (two were originally imprinted on Mexico beaches, 9 on Padre Island) and 17 turtles were wild. Head started individuals were reared in captivity for 9–11 months (10 individuals) or 3 years (1 individual) prior to release.

    (Summarised by: Katie Sainsbury)

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